The owner of Pentagon Row announced this morning that major renovations to the shopping center’s plaza are now underway.
The renovations, approved by the Arlington County Board last March, will include an expanded ice rink during the winter, a turf lawn during the summer, revamped outdoor dining areas, 1,500 square feet of new retail and dining space, lighted water fountains and a stone fire pit.
Work on the project began on Monday and is expected to run through November, wrapping up in time for the grand reopening of the ice rink. Other parts of the plaza will reopen starting late this summer, according to a rep for Pentagon Row owner Federal Realty Investment Trust.
“The plaza was thoughtfully redesigned to cater to the lifestyle of the Arlington community and customer to create a year-round experience,” FRIT said in a press release, below.
This year’s Rock the Row outdoor concert series will still be held despite the construction, according to spokeswoman Molly Hippolitus, and Pentagon Row stores will remain open.
Federal Realty Investment Trust announces today that the Pentagon Row plaza will undergo a major renovation, which will include an expanded ice rink, enhanced outdoor dining areas, added retail space, and improved public gathering places with an expansive turf feature, new water fountains, and new stone fire pit. Construction began April 1, 2013 and the new plaza will be completed and opened to the public in phases beginning late summer 2013. The final project will be complete by November 2013 in time for the ice rink grand re-opening celebration.
The plaza was thoughtfully redesigned to cater to the lifestyle of the Arlington community and customer to create a year-round experience. The addition of an expansive, functional turf feature will host gatherings in warm weather and events such as the 2014 Rock at the Row Summer Concert Series, and an expanded ice rink will be available in the winter months. The additional 1,500 square feet of retail and dining space will energize the plaza core and feature a defined café dining area. The addition of an interactive water feature and stone fire pit will provide year-round amenities for visitors to enjoy.
“Federal Realty Investment Trust’s investment in the project reflects our commitment to creating public spaces for the community to gather and enjoy public events,” says Robin McBride, Vice President – Mid Atlantic Region COO, Federal Realty Investment Trust. Adding, “We are thrilled to continue our commitment to improving Pentagon Row with this major plaza renovation which will create a true 12-month experience for the community.”
Pentagon Row retailers and restaurants will remain open during construction.
Renderings courtesy Federal Realty Investment Trust
Water Change Underway — The annual, temporary switch from chloramine to chlorine as the tap water disinfectant is beginning, as part of a flush of the water system. During this time, Arlington residents may notice a change in the taste and smell of their drinking water. The water system’s “spring cleaning” is scheduled to run through April 29. [Arlington County]
Ballston Garage to Get $3.5 Million in Repairs — The Arlington County Board on Saturday awarded a contract of up to $3.5 million for structural repairs to the eighth level of the Ballston Public Parking Garage. The eighth level of the garage was added in 2006, but the concrete was found to be deficient for long-term use — prompting claims that resulted in the county settling with the original contractor for an undisclosed sum. Kettler Capitals Iceplex, which is located on the top level of the garage, will remain open during the construction, which is expected to take 5-6 months. [Sun Gazette]
Spring Yard Waste Collection Begins – Updated at 12:20 p.m. — Arlington’s annual spring yard waste collection began Monday. During the collection, which runs through April 26, residents can get paper bags full of yard waste picked up the next business day after their regular trash collection day. [Arlington County]
Pentagon Row Ice Rink Closes — Yesterday (Monday) was the last day of the season for ice skating at Pentagon Row. The Pentagon Row ice rink is now being dismantled. Skating is expected to resume in November. [Pentagon Row]
With a little more than a week until Valentine’s Day (February 14), now is a good time to make some plans so all the good reservations aren’t taken. Many restaurants offer special menus for the big day, but there are plenty of other options for celebrating in Arlington besides going out to dinner.
Here is a sampling of some of the more unique ways to treat your Valentine:
- Sip on a special cocktail at TNT Bar‘s (2413 Columbia Pike) “My Bloody Valentine” event, featuring cocktails inspired by “terrible horror movies.” Drinks such as the “Candyman 1992″ and “Love Object 2003″ can be purchased individually or as part of a tasting menu for two.
- Put on your skates and hold hands while taking a few laps around the ice skating rink at Pentagon Row (1201 S. Joyce Street). The rink is open until 10:00 p.m. on Valentine’s Day.
- Pacers is spreading the love a little early, with the Love the Run You’re With 5K on Sunday (February 10). Runners will receive colored bibs based on their relationship status — green for single, red for in a relationship and yellow for “it’s complicated.” The race begins at 9:00 a.m. at Pentagon Row and costs $40. Registration is available online.
- Valentine’s Day isn’t just for adults. Teens are invited to take part in the Broken Hearts Party at the Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street) on February 14. The celebration of love, affection and loss will include decorating broken heart cookies, playing trivia games, listening to music and rating which tear-jerker books require the most tissues. The free event runs from 4:00-6:00 p.m.
- Hire a singing telegram from Potomac Harmony Chorus. A women’s quartet will sing two songs for your loved one and present him or her with a card and box of candy. Pricing is available online. All orders must be placed by this Friday, February 8.
- The Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) is serving up wine, comedy and two showings of The Princess Bride. For $8, customers can take in a stand-up comedy show followed by a viewing of The Princess Bride. Tickets are available online for both the 7:00 p.m. and 9:50 p.m. events. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for an optional wine tasting.
Chabad Lubavitch of Alexandria-Arlington held its annual Chanukah on Ice celebration at Pentagon Row Sunday night.
The event included ice skating, kosher hot dogs, hot latkes, a free raffle and a figure skating performance. There was also a ceremonial Menorah lighting.
Arlington County Fire Chief James Schwartz joined Rabbi Mordechai Newman for the lighting, which was hampered by a brief period of driving rain. Despite valiant efforts at keeping the Menorah lit, the flames were inevitably extinguished by the rain.
“This is what happens to fire when I’m around,” quipped Chief Schwartz.
In a sure sign of the season, ice skating has started at Pentagon Row (1101 S. Joyce Street).
The outdoor shopping center’s ice rink opened on Friday and will remain open every day — including holidays — through March 18. The rink opens at noon on weekdays and 10:00 a.m. on weekends. It closes at 10:00 p.m., except on Fridays and Saturdays, when it closes at 11:00 p.m. Holiday hours vary.
Two hours of skating time is $8 for adults and $7 for seniors and children 12 and under, Skate rentals are $3. Season passes are also available, as are skating lessons and birthday party/event rentals.
Pentagon Row will hold an ice skating “kick off celebration” this weekend. From 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, the rink will host a free acoustic performance by 80s pop musician Tommy Tutone, of “867-5309 / Jenny” fame.
The event is taking place on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 4:00 p.m. at Kettler Capitals Iceplex (627 N. Glebe Road) in Ballston. Among those scheduled to perform are recognizable national skating champions like Brian Boitano, Ashley Wagner, Ryan Bradley, Kimmie Meissner, Mirai Nagasu, Michael Weiss, Steven Cousins, and Richard Dornbush.
The ice show (and a silent auction of skaters’ personal memorabilia at the event) benefits Weiss’ nonprofit, the Michael Weiss Foundation, which provides financial support for skaters with Olympic potential who need help paying for things like coaching, choreography, costumes, music editing and tutoring. The foundation is currently sponsoring 22 potential future skating stars.
“Knowing firsthand the financial burden required for an athlete to get to the Olympics, Weiss established the Foundation to give back to the sport that has given him so much by providing deserving children with scholarships so they can become future Olympians and carry out the legacies of their heroes who preceded them,” according ot a press release. Weiss is a resident of McLean.
Tickets for the show start at $30 and are available online. Seats are also available on the ice itself for $50.
Outdoor ice skating may not be the most popular recreation activity in 70 to 80 degree sunny weather, but the Pentagon Row ice rink is still open for business should anybody want to try their luck on the wet ice.
The rink had a thin layer of water on top of it when we stopped by around lunchtime today. No one was skating, but plenty of people were eating their lunch outside around the plaza.
The skating rink will remain open despite the warm weather, we’re told. The last scheduled day of skating for the season is Sunday, March 18.
On Saturday the Arlington County Board approved a plan to expand the size of the Pentagon Row skating rink while extending the length of time the rink is allowed to be open.
Under the approved site plan amendment, the privately-owned rink will be expanded by 40 feet — to 57 by 120 feet — and the rink will remain open for an additional month, opening in October instead of November. The rink will continue to operate through March.
“The bigger rink, operating a month longer each season, will be able to serve more neighbors and visitors looking for a low-cost, fun way to get some exercise in the late fall and winter,” County Board Chair Mary Hynes said in a statement. “This project will make an already popular public space even better.”
The revamped Pentagon Row plaza design also includes two free standing, 800 square foot retail structures, a fire pit, an interactive water display, year-round seating and elevated bleachers during the cold season to view the ice rink. During warmer months, the rink will be replaced by an artificial turf lawn and stage area.
The site plan amendment, which was supported by the local Aurora Highlands Civic Association, was approved on an unanimous 4-0 vote.
During its meeting on Saturday, the County Board is expected to vote on the proposed revamp of the central plaza at Pentagon Row.
The proposal includes plans to expand the length of the ice rink by 40 feet, add synthetic turf and add two 800 square foot freestanding retail structures. Approving the proposal would also add an additional month to the ice rink’s operating season, making it October through March, instead of November through March.
This proposal came up at the December 10 County Board hearing but was deferred to January. When it came up at the January 21 meeting, the proposal was again deferred to resolve issues with the plan’s two freestanding structures.
The small structures would be added to the northeastern and southwestern areas of the plaza, to be used year-round. At the January meeting, county staff suggested only adding the northeastern structure. There was concern that the southwestern structure along S. Joyce St would obstruct views into the plaza and make the space feel too crowded. When the applicant, Street Retail, Inc., said it wouldn’t be economically feasible to build only one, the issue was deferred until this Saturday’s meeting.
County staff recommend approval of the plan, with a few tweaks to the original proposal. To prevent visual obstruction, the new freestanding structures will have to be as transparent as possible. The one on S. Joyce St will also be built with a flat roof instead of a gabled roof.
As part of the expansion of the ice rink area, two existing planters will be removed. To make up for the lost green space, artificial turf will be added. It would be exposed during warmer months and covered by the rink during colder months. Adding the turf actually allows for an additional 775 square feet of space that is currently largely unusable due to the planters. A number of conditions must be met to ensure the turf is of high quality and can handle hot weather.
The plaza design also includes temporary shade structures, a fire pit, an interactive water display, year-round seating and elevated seating during the cold season to view the ice rink.
Street Retail, Inc. has been working with the Aurora Highlands and Arlington Ridge civic associations to address questions and concerns about the proposed changes. Residents were surveyed about the proposal and 70 percent are in favor of the plan. Some of the new conditions in the proposal were added in response to concerns raised by neighbors.
The vote on the proposed changes comes amid a restaurant shakeup at Pentagon Row. Several restaurants suddenly shut their doors late last year, and will be replaced by new ones in the coming months.
Yes, it’s that time of the year again.
Workers have started installing the ice skating rink at the Pentagon Row shopping center (1101 S. Joyce Street). What serves as a concert and outdoor dining venue during the summer will soon be transformed into a wintry skating rink, complete with instructors providing skating lessons and (starting as soon as Nov. 12) a nightly artificial snow fall.
Weather-permitting, the skating rink is expected to open two weeks from today, on Tuesday, Nov. 1.
In other ice-related news at Pentagon Row, the Maggie Moo’s ice cream shop is no longer Maggie Moo’s. The shop is still selling ice cream and frozen yogurt, but without the Maggie Moo’s branding.